To get an understanding of what sponsors can do for you and your event we should first really understand what a sponsor is.
A sponsor is a person or organization that provides funds for a project or activity carried out by another and with many smaller organizations seeing restricted budgets it forces them to review their marketing spending, this is where sponsorships can greatly benefit in providing widespread publicity for relatively smaller costs. See the benefit to your event? You’re going to get large scale branding for a fraction of the cost.

So, now that we understand what a sponsor is let’s talk about how we get one!

Plan Your Event With Sponsors In Mind

When planning your event, it’s important to think about your potential sponsors. Offering a sponsorship opportunity is really just a
form of selling brand advertising. The entire point of the sponsorship is to build an alliance between you and your sponsors, similar to the “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” mentality. A lot of times one of the very first steps to organizing an event is to pick your venue, most times we pick something with our spectators in mind, try choosing your venue with your sponsors in mind or take it a step further and plan your event with your sponsors working with them to accommodate their needs.  

Evaluate Your Assets

Ok, get ready, I’m going to impart some knowledge on you here. Evaluating your assets allows you to gain statistics for each resource in your inventory and once you have that you can easily slap a price to each resource. I recently attended a conference where it was recommended to use a figure of 1 cent per impression for evaluating each resource or asset in your inventory.

I hope I haven’t lost you… here is an example: let’s say that 30,000 people attend your event, each sponsor logo that they see would be worth $300.00. This could fluctuate depending on how many times each person saw the sponsor logo. (This is why advertising your sponsors right on your wristband results in a strong impression rate, the logo is right in view the whole time. The more a person sees the logo, the more likely it is that they will visit the website or more importantly buy the product.)  

Research, Research, Research

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself here and start sending out countless proposals to various companies I mean “the more we send out, the more someone is bound to say yes right? Wrong. This is a common mistake made by many. Remember, sponsors are going to want to see some sort of return on their investment. (Remember, impressions) This is why it is important to do your research and know the demographic of individuals at your event. If your event caters to women ages 18-30, chances are the world’s most luxury car company probably wouldn’t be interested in sponsoring, where you might see success is with a large make-up company or fashion designer.  

Potential sponsors are usually companies which have larger marketing/advertising budgets, these types of companies usually do a generous amount of local advertising and wish to maintain good community relations. Often times you can find a great sponsor in a company that is new and trying to establish their image and brand or gain a foothold on the market. Local directories, company websites, networking events and advertising directories are a great place to start your search.

Keep Calm and Stay Positive

Once you have a list of who you think would make great sponsors and would be a perfect fit for your event it’s time to start calling.  Cold calling/Prospecting is probably one of the hardest jobs out there, but don’t worry you got this!!  One of the simplest things you can do to prepare yourself for calling is know who you want to contact, go after the person who is directly responsible for handling sponsorships within the organization. In many cases the person responsible will be the CEO, President or Owner, however, you can also find success with Vice Presidents, Directors, or Managers. After making contact and sending out any material follow up in vital. Try requesting a physical meeting if feasible, find out what the company is looking to gain from their sponsorship opportunities and explain how your proposal can benefit both parties.

The VIP Follow Up

This last step really allows you to show off your full potential. Once you obtain a sponsor its crucial to making sure that you treat them like gold! Offer your sponsor the complete VIP treatment including full access to the event for themselves and a select number of family or friends, loyalty benefits such access to VIP areas or backstage access, or even discounted merchandise.

After the event has finished follow up becomes significant to getting that sponsor onboard again for your next event. Make sure to offer your sponsor access to key statistics such as number of spectators, the event generated database, and any videos or photos taken. Also, set up a time to meet with your sponsors after your event to review how things went and get their feedback.

Well, there you have it a few simple steps on how you can bring sponsors on board. If you are looking for more ideas on how to showcase your sponsors or offer key brand advertising feel free to Contact Us we would love to hear from you.